World

Prominent Egyptian statesman criticizes TV station for suspending program of popular satirist

FILE - In this Sunday, March 31, 2013 file photo, Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef, known as Egypt's Jon Stewart, waves to his supporters as he enters Egypt's state prosecutors office to face charges  for allegedly insulting Islam and the country's leader, in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's top prosecutor has ordered an investigation into a complaint that alleges  Youssef, harmed national interests by ridiculing the country's military. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

FILE - In this Sunday, March 31, 2013 file photo, Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef, known as Egypt's Jon Stewart, waves to his supporters as he enters Egypt's state prosecutors office to face charges for allegedly insulting Islam and the country's leader, in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's top prosecutor has ordered an investigation into a complaint that alleges Youssef, harmed national interests by ridiculing the country's military. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)  (The Associated Press)

A prominent statesman in Egypt has criticized a private local TV station for suspending a widely popular satire program, describing its decision as unwise and harmful to the country.

Amr Moussa, a former presidential candidate who currently chairs a panel tasked with amending Egypt's constitution, urged broadcaster CBC to reconsider its decision, saying it has upset many and raised concern for freedom of expression in Egypt.

CBC suspended Friday the program of Bassem Youssef, often described as Egypt's Jon Stewart, saying he violated its editorial policies.

Youssef has come under fire for mocking the ultranationalist fervor gripping Egypt, and joking about its military leaders, sparking a backlash of legal complaints from army supporters.

But the CBC decision caused an outcry among many who feared it was a crackdown on criticism.